Archive of ‘Salads’ category

Watermelon, Feta, and Mint Salad

I recently made a very yummy and unique salad as a side dish with our dinner… a chilled Watermelon, Feta, and Mint Salad, to be exact! It’s a perfect chilled salad to serve when the temperature heats up, like it’s doing here in Oregon this week (temps of 108)!Watermelon, Feta, and Mint Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
I discovered the recipe on Pinterest and thought it sounded interesting… and guess what? It was FANTASTIC! Cold, ripe and sweet watermelon pairs unbelievably well with slightly salty feta cheese; the addition of chopped fresh mint, a touch of olive oil and a smidge of red onion make this recipe a delectable and refreshing summer salad!

The recipe could not be any easier to prepare… there are two methods and both are simple! Here’s how to prepare this yummy salad:  Cut up a well-chilled watermelon into cubes (only need 6 cups worth of watermelon cubes – for me this was only two large slices out of a whole watermelon!)

Watermelon, Feta, and Mint Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Add remaining ingredients to the watermelon cubes (crumbled feta cheese, olive oil, thinly sliced red onion, and chopped fresh mint, then season with a little bit of salt and pepper to taste.  Toss gently to combine, and try not to break up the feta crumbles too much.  See the printable recipe below for another way to prepare this salad!

Watermelon, Feta, and Mint Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Once salad is gently mixed together, it is ready to serve… but I feel it is at it’s best when the flavors have had time to come together in the fridge… and the watermelon is really COLD, so I refrigerated the salad for about an hour before serving.  When ready to serve, place it in a pretty serving dish, garnish with a fresh mint sprig (if desired) and dig in! It’s DELICIOUS!

Watermelon, Feta, and Mint Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Hope you have a great day!  We’ve had record-breaking heat here in the Portland, Oregon area this week.  Our power has gone out 2 times in 24 hours (last night and this morning), so it hasn’t been fun trying to stay cool with no electricity or cooling, but we are thankful for CANDLES… and that the problems have now been fixed.  Whew!!!

Watermelon, Feta, and Mint Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Recipe Source:  http://www.slenderkitchen.com/recipe/watermelon-feta-and-mint-salad

Watermelon, Feta, and Mint Salad
 
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Sweet and cold watermelon salad with fresh mint, salty feta cheese crumbles and a bit of red onion make this unique dish a "must" on a hot Summer day!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 6 cups cold watermelon, cubed
  • ¾ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • ¼ cup red onion, sliced thinly
  • ¼ cup fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
  • ½ Tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
Directions
Method 1: (this is the method I used)
  1. Combine all ingredients in large serving bowl. Toss gently, to combine, trying to not break up the feta crumbles too much. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve and enjoy!
Method 2:
  1. Combine all ingredients except for crumbled feta cheese. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Sprinkle salad with feta cheese crumbles (but do not mix it in) right before serving. Serve and enjoy!

Here’s one more to pin to your Pinterest boards!Watermelon, Feta, and Mint Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

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Berry and Orange Spinach Salad with Citrus Balsamic Vinaigrette

During the heat of summer, I try to cook “light” dinners… sometimes it’s just too hot for a big heavy meal! I recently made my husband and I an entree sized Berry and Orange Spinach Salad with Citrus Balsamic Vinaigrette for dinner, and we enjoyed it immensely!Berry and Orange Spinach Salad with Citrus Balsamic Vinaigrette / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
The salad was filling, and it was pretty to look at, too (you eat with your eyes first, right?).  Baby spinach leaves, crumbled feta cheese, pecans, mandarin orange slices, strawberries, and some fresh blackberries are the ingredients in the salad.  The salad dressing is an easy to mix together citrus balsamic vinaigrette, and it really complimented the sweet fresh fruit and the slightly salty feta well.

This is an extremely easy salad to make (perfect for a busy summer day!)… here’s how:

Olive oil, balsamic vinegar, fresh squeezed orange juice, and honey are whisked together to make the vinaigrette… totally EASY! Once mixed, set aside until time to dress the salad.

Berry and Orange Spinach Salad with Citrus Balsamic Vinaigrette / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

The salad, as written will make either 2 large entree salads, or 4 small side salads (I made two entree sized salads).  Divide chilled baby spinach leaves into serving bowls or onto plates.  Evenly divide and arrange the strawberries, mandarin orange slices, blackberries, feta and pecans over the spinach.

Berry and Orange Spinach Salad with Citrus Balsamic Vinaigrette / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Drizzle the balsamic vinaigrette over each salad, then toss to combine ingredients. and serve! Note: If you want to prepare the salad ahead of serving time, do not add vinaigrette to salad. Keep salad covered and refrigerated.  Right before serving, remove salad from refrigerator, give the vinaigrette a good stir, and drizzle it over salad! Toss to combine ingredients and serve! YUM!

Berry and Orange Spinach Salad with Citrus Balsamic Vinaigrette / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

We really enjoyed these light, but filling salads for dinner!  Hope you will consider trying this delicious recipe, too! Have a great day!  I am thankful today for my life, my family (including our puppy!), and God… who loves me deeply, just as I am!

Berry and Orange Spinach Salad with Citrus Balsamic Vinaigrette / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Adapted From: https://www.yayforfood.com/recipes/berry-orange-spinach-salad-citrus-balsamic-vinaigrette

Berry and Orange Spinach Salad with Citrus Balsamic Vinaigrette
 
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Fresh, colorful, yummy and good for you, this spinach salad is topped with a simple to prepare citrus balsamic vinaigrette!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 2 entree or 4 side salads
Ingredients
For Salad:
  • 6 cups packed baby spinach
  • 2 mandarin oranges, peeled and sectioned
  • 1 cup strawberries, halved (can substitute raspberries, if desired-keep whole)
  • ½ cup fresh blackberries
  • ½ cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • ¼ cup walnuts or pecans (I used pecans)
For Salad Dressing:
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh orange juice
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
Directions
  1. Whisk olive oil, balsamic vinegar, fresh squeezed orange juice, and honey together to make the vinaigrette. Once mixed, set aside until time to dress the salad.
  2. The salad (as written) will make either 2 large entree salads, or 4 small side salads. To serve, divide chilled baby spinach leaves into serving bowls or onto plates. Evenly divide and arrange the strawberries, mandarin orange slices, blackberries, feta and pecans over the spinach.
  3. Drizzle the balsamic vinaigrette over each salad, then toss to combine ingredients, and serve! If you want to prepare the salad ahead of serving time, do not add vinaigrette. Keep salad covered and refrigerated. Right before serving, remove chilled salad from refrigerator, give salad dressing a stir and drizzle it on salad!

Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!Berry and Orange Spinach Salad with Citrus Balsamic Vinaigrette / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

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Nanci’s 4-Bean Salad

I love Summertime… warm days of sunshine, BBQ’s on the back deck, enjoying the company of friends and family and the variety of wonderful foods we share when we get together… including Nanci’s 4-Bean Salad!Nanci's 4-Bean Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks! This DELICIOUS side salad takes less than 10 minutes to put together!
I received this recipe from a friend named Nanci that I was privileged to be in a Bible Study group with. She told me it was a GREAT salad, and thought we would enjoy it!  I jotted down the recipe (I think it said she had been handed down the recipe from her mother-in-law) and added it to the BIG box of recipes on my desk that I want to try.  I’ve been hanging on to her recipe for over a year now (shame on me), and FINALLY got around to making it.  Oh boy… am I glad I did! It is so very easy to make (in under 10 minutes), and the flavor is remarkable (even better than store-bought)!  It was so good (and PERFECT for summer picnics), I knew I wanted to share it on this blog!

Here’s how you make Nanci’s 4-Bean Salad:  Drain and rinse all beans. Place drained beans, green pepper and red onion in large mixing bowl.

Nanci's 4-Bean Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

In small separate bowl, whisk oil, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper together until sugar has dissolved. Pour over beans; stir gently to mix all ingredients together.

Nanci's 4-Bean Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Nanci's 4-Bean Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Cover salad and refrigerate. The flavor of the salad is best developed when it has been refrigerated for at least 8 hours or overnight! Stir salad occasionally during the refrigeration process. Place the 4-Bean Salad into a nice serving bowl (big enough to hold 8 cups of salad), serve, and enjoy!

Nanci's 4-Bean Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Nanci's 4-Bean Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

The salad itself takes less than 10 minutes to throw together. I recommend mixing it up either EARLY in the morning for a late dinner OR making salad in the evening for serving the next day.  Either way you choose to prepare it, I really think you will LOVE this delicious, flavor-filled simple bean salad!  Have a great day!

Nanci's 4-Bean Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Recipe Source: My friend, Nanci Peck

Nanci's 4-Bean Salad
 
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This easy to prepare, quick and delicious 4-Bean Salad is perfect for family get-togethers, picnics, or potlucks!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 8 cups
Ingredients
For Salad:
  • 1 can green beans
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 1 can garbanzo beans
  • 1 can yellow wax beans
  • 1 small green bell pepper, sliced thin
  • 1 small red onion, sliced thin
For dressing:
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • ⅔ cup white vinegar
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
Directions
  1. Drain and rinse all beans. Place drained beans, green pepper and red onion in large mixing bowl.
  2. In small separate bowl, whisk oil, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper together until sugar has dissolved. Pour over beans; stir gently to mix all ingredients together.
  3. Cover salad and refrigerate. The flavor of this salad is best developed when it has been refrigerated for at least 8 hours or overnight! Stir salad occasionally during the refrigeration process. Serve, and enjoy!
Notes
*Cans of beans are standard size (15.5 ounces)
*Prep time shown does not indicate refrigeration time (8 hours or overnight is best for flavors to saturate!)

Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!Nanci's 4-Bean Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks! This DELICIOUS side salad takes less than 10 minutes to put together!

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Grilled Chili & Lime Chicken Fajita Salad

Do you like fajitas? Well, I sure do, so I was excited to try a new recipe for Grilled Chili & Lime Chicken Fajita Salad! Wow… it tasted fantastic, and I can’t wait to share it with you today.Grilled Chili & Lime Chicken Fajita Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
This main dish salad is filled with marinated grilled chicken, romaine lettuce, black beans, grilled bell peppers and onion, and is topped with tortilla strips, cilantro, avocado and sour cream, and drizzled with an amazing chili and lime salad dressing (part of it serves as the marinade!). If you like Southwestern food, chances are you will LOVE this filling salad.  We sure did!  It is one of my new favorite salads… will DEFINITELY make this again and again.

The chicken will need to marinate for a couple hours (at least), so plan ahead (the marinating time is not included in the prep time on printable recipe). I like to get things ready ahead of time, so early in the afternoon I marinated the chicken, then grilled the chicken and at the same time, (in a separate skillet) I grilled the onion and peppers.  When it was dinner time, all I had to do was slice the pre-cooked chicken, arrange the salad ingredients in 2 serving bowls, drizzle with the dressing and serve! EASY!  The day I made this salad it was pouring rain, so I cooked the chicken on my indoor George Foreman grill. You can cook the marinated chicken on the BBQ, an indoor grill, or the EASY way… in a skillet on your stovetop! The recipe calls for boneless chicken thighs, but boneless chicken breasts are a great substitution, too!

Here’s how to make this delicious salad:

In a small bowl, whisk the ingredients for the marinade together until fully blended.  Pour HALF (approx. 1/4 cup) of the marinade into a shallow dish. Add the chicken, cover, and refrigerate/marinate chicken for at least 2 hours (turning occasionally to coat), for best taste results!   When you cook the marinated chicken, discard and do NOT use the marinade that has been in contact with the chicken, to avoid cross contamination!

Cover and set the remaining marinade (approx. 1/4 cup) aside until ready to serve (this is the salad dressing). There is no need to refrigerate.

Grilled Chili & Lime Chicken Fajita Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Grilled Chili & Lime Chicken Fajita Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

After chicken has been marinated, grill the chicken until done and crispy on a BBQ or indoor grill. If using a skillet, heat a teaspoon of oil on medium-high heat until hot before adding the pieces of chicken.  When cooked fully, remove chicken. Let rest for a few minutes, then cut into thin slices.

Grilled Chili & Lime Chicken Fajita Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Grilled Chili & Lime Chicken Fajita Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

In a separate skillet, heat a teaspoon of oil on medium-high heat until hot. Add sliced red and yellow bell peppers and onions. Cook until tender (4-5 minutes), stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and set aside.

Grilled Chili & Lime Chicken Fajita Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
To assemble the salad, fill serving dish with torn romaine leaves. Evenly distribute black beans, peppers and onions over lettuce. Add sliced avocado and crisp tortilla strips (I made my own tortilla strips – to see how to make them, check notes section of printable recipe).  Sprinkle salad with extra cilantro leaves.  Place a dollop of sour cream on top, and add a lime wedge (for garnish).  Drizzle reserved marinade over the top.  Serve… and ENJOY this amazing, flavor-filled chicken fajita salad! The recipe as written (below) makes two very generous sized main course salads.

Grilled Chili & Lime Chicken Fajita Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

I’m not kidding… this really is one delicious dinner!  I hope you will give it a try. My husband loved it, too.  One of his first comments after tasting it and saying “wow”, was “this has to be one of the best looking salads I’ve ever eaten”. Yes, it LOOKS good, but just wait until you TASTE it! Grab a fork and have a taste of that juicy chicken!  YUM!

Grilled Chili & Lime Chicken Fajita Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Have a wonderful day! Thanks for stopping by this website… I hope you find some delicious recipes to fix for those you love and cherish! There are a lot of wonderful recipes available in my Categorized Recipe Index at the top of this page! Hope you’ll check it out!

Grilled Chili & Lime Chicken Fajita Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Recipe Adapted From:  https://cafedelites.com/2015/08/09/grilled-chilli-lime-chicken-fajita-salad/

Grilled Chili & Lime Chicken Fajita Salad
 
Prep time
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Delicious main dish salad featuring grilled marinated chicken, bell peppers, onions, black beans, avocado and Romaine lettuce, and served with a delicious chili & lime dressing!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Main Course Salad
Cuisine: Southwestern
Serves: 2 Main Course Servings
Ingredients
For Marinade:
  • 4 Tablespoons olive oil
  • ⅓ cup (+ 1 Tablespoon more) fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon red chili flakes
  • ½ teaspoon ground Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
For Salad:
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (can substitute chicken breasts)
  • ½ yellow bell pepper, sliced thin (seeds removed)
  • ½ red bell pepper, sliced thin (seeds removed)
  • ½ medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 5 cups Romaine lettuce, roughly chopped
  • 1 avocado, sliced (divided)
  • ½ cup black beans (rinsed, drained)
For Garnish (Optional):
  • Sour cream and extra cilantro leaves
  • Crisp tortilla strips (see Notes section for "how to make" these).
Directions
  1. In a small bowl, whisk ingredients for marinade together until fully blended. Pour HALF (approx. ¼ cup) of the marinade into a shallow dish. Add chicken and let marinate in fridge for at least 2 hours, turning occasionally to coat. Cover remaining marinade and set aside until ready to serve (this is the salad dressing-you do not need to refrigerate).
  2. Heat a teaspoon of oil on medium-high heat in a skillet. Once oil is hot, add marinated chicken pieces; cook until done and crispy on outside (can also use indoor grill or outside BBQ). When fully cooked, remove chicken. Let rest for a few minutes, then cut into thin slices. Set aside. Discard and do NOT use the marinade that has been in contact with the chicken, to avoid cross contamination.
  3. In a separate skillet, heat a teaspoon of oil on medium-high heat. Add sliced onions and bell peppers. Cook until tender (4-5 minutes), stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; set aside.
To Assemble Salad: Fill serving dish with torn romaine leaves. Evenly distribute black beans, peppers and onions over lettuce. Add sliced avocado and crisp tortilla strips. Sprinkle with cilantro leaves. Place a dollop of sour cream on top and add a lime wedge (for garnish). Drizzle reserved marinade over salad. Serve... and ENJOY!
Notes
Prep Time does not include marinating time for chicken.

TO MAKE TORTILLA STRIPS: Cut 2 corn tortillas in half, then cut into thin strips. Coat strips with 1 Tablespoon of vegetable oil, then bake at 375 degrees for 5-6 minutes on each side (flipping midway through baking), until light brown and crispy.

Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!Grilled Chili & Lime Chicken Fajita Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

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Spinach, Apple and Goat Cheese Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette

The other evening I made a Spinach, Apple and Goat Cheese Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette to go with dinner. It tasted wonderful, with crunchy apple slices, creamy goat cheese, spinach, dried cranberries, toasted pecans, and a fantastic dressing – amazing!Spinach, Apple and Goat Cheese Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Talk about a quick and easy salad (and homemade dressing)… wow! The entire salad and amazing vinaigrette dressing took only about 15 minutes from start to finish. My husband and I both loved it!

Here’s how you make this incredibly EASY salad:  Place baby spinach , thinly sliced apples, red onion, dried cranberries, toasted pecans (or walnuts), and goat cheese (half of total amount) into a large salad bowl.  Note: I sliced the apples right before serving. If preparing this salad ahead of time, remember to brush apple slices with lemon juice, to prevent them from darkening once exposed to air, OR slice the apples and add to salad just before serving.

Spinach, Apple and Goat Cheese Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Quickly whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients or place in a bottle or container with lid, and shake to fully combine.

Spinach, Apple and Goat Cheese Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Lightly drizzle the salad with vinaigrette.

Spinach, Apple and Goat Cheese Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Toss the salad to mix in the salad dressing, covering all ingredients.  Once salad has been tossed, top the salad with the other half of the goat cheese, and serve!  THAT’S IT!

See how easy that was? In case you are thinking that the salad is too easy to taste good, let me assure you, the vinaigrette is absolutely fantastic on this salad, AND the salad itself is FULL of great flavors AND textures (chewy, crunchy, creamy)!

Spinach, Apple and Goat Cheese Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

I hope you have a wonderful day. Seek out someone you can encourage or give a helping hand to today.  We can ALL make a difference in this often hopeless world. Blessings.

Spinach, Apple and Goat Cheese Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Recipe Source:  http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/my-favorite-apple-spinach-salad/

Spinach, Apple and Goat Cheese Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette
 
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Quick and easy to prepare, this salad is full of flavor and textures, thanks to spinach, crisp apple slices, red onion, cranberries, creamy goat cheese, toasted pecans, and apple cider vinaigrette!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
For salad:
  • 10 ounces baby spinach
  • 2 apples (cored/thinly sliced- leave peel ON)
  • ⅔ cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup pecans (or walnut halves), lightly toasted
  • Half small red onion, peeled/thinly sliced
  • 5 ounces goat cheese, DIVIDED. (May also substitute feta or bleu cheese)
For Apple Cider Vinaigrette:
  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar (may also substitute champagne vinegar)
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled/minced
  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup (or honey), to sweeten
  • pinch salt and pepper, to taste
Directions
  1. Place baby spinach, sliced apples, cranberries, toasted pecans (see NOTES section), red onion slices, and crumble HALF of the goat cheese into a large salad bowl.
  2. In separate bowl, jar, or container with lid, mix together the vinaigrette ingredients. Shake or whisk until all salad dressing ingredients are fully blended.
  3. Lightly drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad. Toss salad, to combine.
  4. Crumble the remaining goat cheese over the top of the salad, and serve!
Notes
To toast pecans (walnuts): Place in skillet (a dry skillet) and cook on medium-low for about 5 minutes, stirring/turning often, until nuts are lightly toasted and aromatic. Let nuts cool a minute or two, before adding to salad.

 

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Pasta Salad

Do you enjoy Pasta Salad? We sure do. I like to make them in the summer (when it’s HOT), and have the chilled, yummy salad “hang out” in our refrigerator for quick bites here and there! It’s so easy to make this Pasta Salad, and it tastes quite wonderful.Pasta Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
I’ve been making Pasta Salad like this for at least 20 years, and we always enjoy it. Here’s a closeup of the “Cast Of Characters”, chopped and ready to go… sliced black olives, cheddar cheese, Genoa salami, red pepper, broccoli, baby carrots, red onion, cucumber, and cherry tomatoes (from our garden)! YUM.  I chop and cut all of this while the pasta is cooking, to save time!

Pasta Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

The prep time to make this salad is minimal. Ready in under 15 minutes!  Start by cooking pasta according to package directions. I like to use rainbow pasta (as shown) for color and variety, but elbow macaroni, bow-tie pasta, etc. will work fine, as well! When done, rinse and drain pasta.

Pasta Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Add pasta and all other ingredients into a large salad bowl.

Pasta Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Pour Italian salad dressing over top, and mix well, to fully coat it all. Any Italian dressing will be just fine (just use what you have), BUT this is my FAVORITE dressing to use on this salad! (No… I am not sponsored by Olive Garden… I just really like their creamy Italian dressing paired with this salad).

Pasta Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Cover and refrigerate salad for at least an hour (for best flavor!). Right before serving, taste, and add additional salad dressing if necessary (the dressing will absorb into the pasta while refrigerating).  That’s it… serve it up… and ENJOY the great flavors in this salad.

Pasta Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Have a great day! Make the most of every opportunity to be a blessing to someone that crosses your path today. Life is short, friends. Be kind!

Pasta Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Pasta Salad
 
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This quick, and easy to prepare pasta salad with Italian dressing will soon become a family favorite!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. bag rainbow pasta (or any kind you like, elbow macaroni, bow-tie, etc)
  • Salami (approx. 20 slices), cut into quarters
  • Cheddar Cheese (3 med. thick slices), cut into 1" cubes
  • Cherry tomatoes (10), halved
  • Broccoli, cut into tiny pieces (about ½ cup)
  • Red Onion (about ¼ cup), diced
  • Baby carrots, sliced thin (about 10)
  • 1 small can sliced black olives, drained
  • ½ cup chopped red pepper
  • Cucumber (approx. 1 cup), peeled, sliced, then quartered
  • Italian Dressing (1/3- ½ cup)
Directions
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. When done, rinse, drain, then set aside.
  2. While pasta is cooking, chop, dice, slice (etc.) all the veggies and cheese, etc. for salad.
  3. Combine cooked and cooled pasta and remaining ingredients in large salad bowl.
  4. Pour ⅓ to ½ cup salad dressing over salad. Toss well, to combine. If it needs a bit more salad dressing, add it! The salad dressing will absorb a bit into the salad as it refrigerates. If necessary, add just a bit more dressing right before serving!
  5. Cover and refrigerate for about an hour before serving, to give all the flavors a chance to mingle!
  6. Serve, and enjoy!
Notes
The quantity of chopped veggies and cheese used in this recipe is approximate. Change quantities up and/or add other ingredients as you prefer! You really can't hurt this salad. Trust me!

 

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Summer Fruit Medley Green Salad

I love salads during the HOT Summertime! They are light, cold, and taste yummy when it is too hot outside to want a heavy dinner. A few nights ago I made this delicious Summer Fruit Medley Green Salad.  It was soooo good, I’m making it again tonight!Summer Fruit Medley Green Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Summer and fresh picked fruit just really seem to go together!  The day I made this salad the first time, I had just been out picking fresh peaches at a local U-Pick Farm, plus I had fresh blueberries, strawberries and mixed greens right in my little backyard raised bed garden! How could I NOT use them in something yummy?!!!

Summer Fruit Medley Green Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

The salad came together in a FLASH!  In about 10 minutes, I had everything in a serving bowl. It sure looked pretty with the fresh fruit, feta cheese, red onions, Romaine lettuce, mesculin greens, and pecan pieces in it!

Summer Fruit Medley Green Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

I made a super quick balsamic vinegar and olive oil dressing (that took all of about 30 seconds to mix together), drizzled it over the salad, and BOOM… Love at first bite!  I served it with slices of rotisserie chicken (that my husband bought) on the side.  The sweetness of the fresh ripe fruit, paired with the slight saltiness of the feta cheese, and the crunch of the crisp lettuce and pecans (or walnuts) makes for ONE GREAT TASTING SALAD!

Summer Fruit Medley Green Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Sure hope you will consider making this quick, easy, and scrumptious salad, especially now, when summer fruits are at their peak of delicious-ness!  Gotta go now and get our dinner ready. We’re having salmon, with this salad on the side tonight! YUM!

Summer Fruit Medley Green Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Summer Fruit Medley Green Salad
 
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Fresh Summer fruits combine with mixed greens, feta, red onions, and pecans to create this delicious salad!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 small head Romaine lettuce, chilled and chopped
  • 2 cups mixed salad greens (Spring greens or mesculin, chilled and chopped)
  • 1 fresh peach (peeled, pitted, and sliced thin)
  • 5-6 fresh strawberries (sliced thin)
  • ½ cup fresh blueberries
  • ⅓ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • ¼ cup red onion (thinly sliced)
  • 8-10 pecans or walnuts (broken into pieces)
  • Optional Dressing: (but it goes perfectly with sweetness of fruit/saltiness of feta!)
  • 2 parts dark balsamic vinegar to 1 part olive oil (can make as much or as little as desired)
Directions
  1. Place cold chopped mixed greens in large salad bowl.
  2. Add peach slices, strawberry slices, blueberries, and crumbled feta cheese. Top with red onion slices and broken pecan (or walnut) pieces.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the olive oil and balsamic vinegar together with a fork until fully emulsified/combined. Drizzle dressing over salad..
  4. Serve chilled, and enjoy!
Notes
If by any chance you happen to have a Peach-Cinnamon balsamic vinegar hanging around your kitchen... by all means, use it in the salad dressing!!!

 

 

 

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Lemony Chickpea Salad

I collect cookbooks, and love adding new ones to my collection. I was fortunate enough to buy a couple cookbooks with gift cards I received for Christmas. I found this super quick and light recipe for Lemony Chickpea Salad in one (by Cooking Light), and decided to give it a try… less than 5 minutes later I had this simple, yet great tasting, healthy side dish!Lemony Chickpea Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

This recipe is healthy, and so very simple to make in just a couple minutes!  First, drain and rinse a can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans). Did you know chickpeas are from the legume family, and are a great source of healthy protein, dietary fiber, and contain numerous vitamins and minerals?

Lemony Chickpea Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Place chickpeas in a serving bowl. Add olive oil, fresh lemon juice, chopped fresh parsley, minced garlic, and crushed red pepper. Stir to fully combine chickpeas with dressing.

Lemony Chickpea Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

That’s it! See how easy that was! Garnish with a lemon slice and a fresh sprig of parsley, if desired.  Serve salad at room temperature for best taste!

Lemony Chickpea Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Have a fantastic day!  I am choosing today to be thankful for the many blessings in my life, those seen and unseen, mercifully provided by the God I love with all my heart.

Lemony Chickpea Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Recipe Source: The cookbook “Cooking Light Fresh Food Fast Weeknight Meals”, published by Oxmoor House, Inc., 2010, page 62.

Lemony Chickpea Salad
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Quick, easy and healthy side salad, featuring chickpeas (garbanzo beans), in a light lemon, olive oil, and garlic dressing.
As Prepared By:
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 (15) ounce can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ⅛ teaspoon crushed dried red pepper
Directions
  1. Place drained chickpeas into small serving bowl.
  2. Add lemon juice, olive oil, chopped parsley, minced garlic and crushed red pepper.
  3. Stir very well, to fully combine ingredients.
  4. Serve at room temperature. (If you are making this ahead of time, cover and refrigerate. Remove from refrigerator half an hour before serving, to allow olive oil in recipe to liquefy again!).
  5. Enjoy this light and healthy side salad.
Notes
Recipe makes approx. 4 (1/2 cup) servings, but is EASILY doubled.

 

 

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Black Bean, Corn & Tomato Salad with Avocado Dressing

Our family really enjoyed this Southwestern flavored Black Bean, Corn & Tomato Salad with Avocado Cilantro Dressing at our Father’s Day BBQ this past weekend.  I served it as a side dish with grilled hamburgers, fresh fruit, and potato salad.Black Bean, Corn & Tomato Salad with Avocado Cilantro Dressing / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

I recently made a Southwest Steak Salad with Avocado & Cilantro Dressing, and still had some of the dressing left in our refrigerator. I decided to make a quick, healthy salad with some canned black beans and corn (and a few other ingredients in my refrigerator), and use the leftover avocado and cilantro dressing to bind it all together with great flavor! Boy, was it eve GOOD!  Surprisingly GOOD!

The dressing was very quick and easy to prepare… the ingredients are mixed until creamy in a blender or food processor.

Southwest Steak Salad w Avocado & Cilantro Dressing / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

The yummy dressing looks like this once fully blended. This is more than you will need for this recipe… BUT… if you double the salad ingredients (if you’re making this for a LARGE group), it will be perfect!  If not, just use it on a great salad… or as a delicious topping for tacos!

Southwest Steak Salad w Avocado & Cilantro Dressing / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Salad ingredients are placed in a serving bowl. Avocado dressing is added, and stirred to combine. Salad is then refrigerated until ready to serve… that’s it! This salad is so easy to make in about 10 minutes, and it is incredibly flavorful and delicious!  This would be a great salad to take to a family gathering or potluck!

Black Bean, Corn & Tomato Salad with Avocado Cilantro Dressing / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Hope you will give this salad a try. Great taste, in next to no time at all!  Have a great day.

Black Bean, Corn & Tomato Salad with Avocado Cilantro Dressing / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Salad Dressing Source: http://www.joyfulhealthyeats.com/southwestern-steak-salad-with-cilantro-avocado-dressing/

Black Bean, Corn & Tomato Salad with Avocado Dressing
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Healthy black bean, corn & tomato salad, with Southwestern flavors in a creamy avocado and cilantro dressing.
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
For Salad:
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can whole kernel corn, rinsed and drained
  • ¼ cup chopped red onion
  • 1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
For Avocado Cilantro Dressing:
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
Directions
  1. Place black beans, corn, chopped red onion, tomato and 2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro into serving bowl. Stir to combine. Set aside.
  2. Prepare salad dressing by placing all dressing ingredients (except salt and pepper) into a blender. Blend very well, until dressing is smooth and creamy. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. (If it is too thick, you can thin it a bit by adding a tiny bit more olive oil and red wine vinegar).
  3. Gently mix about 3 Tablespoons of the dressing into the beans/corn mixture. Stir until combined. (Add additional dressing if desired. You will not use all the dressing, but it keeps well in refrigerator and can be used on other salads).
  4. Cover salad and refrigerate until ready to serve!
  5. Enjoy!
Notes
If you want to double the salad recipe to serve more people, go for it! There is no need to double the avocado & cilantro dressing ingredients. There will be plenty (as written).

Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!Black Bean, Corn & Tomato Salad with Avocado Cilantro Dressing / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

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Potato Salad

I’ve been making this recipe for yummy, old-fashioned Potato Salad for almost 30 years now… for BBQ’s, potlucks and picnics, and my family and friends always end up wanting more (including “to go” containers for our grown sons)!Potato Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

When I was growing up, I didn’t like potato salad. My Mom (who is a fantastic cook) made hers with LOTS of sweet pickle relish, red onions and mustard, and I just didn’t enjoy it (sorry, Mom)!  Well, many, many, many years ago, a friend of mine named Judy made potato salad for a baby shower I was the guest of honor at… and I LOVED it! I asked her what her “secret” was… and she told me… she used Claussen Dill Pickles, because they are refrigerated and have the “best” crunch factor!

Well, trust me… I am not sponsored by or an ambassador for any pickle companies, but I gotta tell ya, she was on to something.  I went home and began experimenting with my own version of potato salad (including those DILL pickles), came up with a winner recipe, and have been making potato salad this way ever since! True Story!  After making this salad hundreds of times over the past 30 years, I finally decided to try and write it down for my blog- (Truth: I usually don’t measure anything for this potato salad, I make it by sight and taste, so it was quite the challenge to try and get it right).  Here’s what ya do:

Boil Russet potatoes (with the skin on), until fork-tender.  Hint: See my note section in the printable recipe for a time-saver to cook hard-boiled eggs for the recipe in with the potatoes,  Drain potatoes, slightly cool, then peel and cube. Place potato chunks in a large bowl.

Potato Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Slice green onions, chop Claussen pickles, and chop up 2 of the 3 hard-boiled eggs. Add these to potato chunks.

Potato Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

In separate bowl, combine mayonnaise, a small smidge of prepared yellow mustard, several Tablespoons of the pickle juice (straight from the jar!), and a bit of salt and pepper.

Potato Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Pour “dressing” mixture over potatoes. Stir gently to fully combine all ingredients. If necessary, add additional mayonnaise (if needed- the amount will vary, depending on quantity and size of potatoes used). You don’t want it dry… and you don’t want it swimming in mayo, either!

Potato Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Once potato salad is completely combined, taste it to determine if you need a bit more salt and/or pepper. I usually add a bit more salt. Place salad into a large serving bowl.

Potato Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

I use this contraption to thinly slice a hard-boiled egg for garnishing the salad (optional).

Potato Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
It thinly slices the egg for me, without making a mess!  Otherwise, just carefully cut thin slices with a very sharp knife!

Potato Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Place the egg slices on top of potato salad. Garnish with a few more green onion slices (the green part) OR chopped parsley. Sprinkle the top with paprika, and that’s it!  Cover the salad and refrigerate for 5-6 hours before serving, for best flavor (and chill factor!).

Potato Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

That’s how I make this classic potato salad. It really is quite inexpensive to prepare, and is always enjoyed at family get togethers. For me, it’s always a hoot to see just how much of this my grown sons can pile on their plates! (Have a little hamburger with that potato salad…).

Hope you will find time this summer to give this great recipe a try! We absolutely LOVE it!

Potato Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Potato Salad
 
Prep time
Total time
 
This simple, old-fashioned Potato Salad will be a big hit at your next picnic or family BBQ!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 8-10 servings
Ingredients
For Potato Salad:
  • 5 large "baker" sized russet potatoes (or 8-9 small potatoes)
  • 2 green onions, sliced (green and white parts)
  • 4 Claussen dill pickle spears (or 1 LARGE Claussen whole dill), chopped
  • 3 hard boiled eggs (chop 2 of them, reserve 1 for garnish, if desired)
For Potato Salad "Dressing":
  • 5 HEAPING Tablespoons mayonnaise (really big heapings-start with this-add more if necessary)
  • ½ teaspoon prepared yellow mustard
  • 3 Tablespoons pickle juice (straight from the jar!)
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
For Garnish:
  • Use 1 reserved hard-boiled egg, thinly sliced
  • Additional sliced green onions (green part) OR chopped fresh parsley
  • Paprika (to lightly sprinkle on top of salad)
Directions
  1. Boil potatoes (with skin on) until fork tender (time will vary depending on size of potatoes). It will typically take between 35 and 50 minutes. If done, you should be able to insert a knife blade into the potato with no problem. When done, drain, and peel potatoes. Once cool, cut potatoes into chunks and place into large bowl.
  2. Slice green onions and chop dill pickle spears. Add to potatoes. Chop 2 of the 3 hard boiled eggs, and add to potatoes.
  3. Mix up "dressing" for salad in a separate bowl, by mixing mayonnaise, mustard, pickle juice, and salt and pepper (start with ½ teaspoon salt/pepper).
  4. Pour the "dressing" over the potato mixture. Stir gently to fully combine ingredients. If more "moisture" is needed, add more mayonnaise and continue stirring until fully coated. (amount of "dressing" and additional mayo will vary, due to amount and size of potatoes used).
  5. Taste test. Add more salt/pepper, if needed. (I usually end up adding a bit more salt).
  6. Place potato salad into serving bowl. Garnish top with thin slices of hard-boiled egg, then add additional sliced green onion (the green part) OR chopped fresh parsley. Lightly sprinkle with paprika.
  7. Refrigerate for 5-6 hours (for BEST flavor and "chill" factor); Serve, and enjoy!
Notes
To save time, I boil the eggs in the same saucepan while I cook the potatoes! Usually takes them about 23 minutes when added to boiling water with all the potatoes. I take eggs out when done, and finish cooking potatoes! (one less pan!)

 

 

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